Flyers vs. Devils preview: Back on the road

Bruce Bennett

The Flyers are back on the road for the first night of a back-to-back.

After earning a split on the first two parts of their six-game road swing, the Flyers are in North Jersey tonight to take on the Devils at Wells Fargo Center North -- I mean, Prudential Center.

Flyers_orange_mediumDevils_red_medium
Philadelphia Flyers (6-7-1, 13 pts) at New Jersey Devils (8-2-3, 19 pts)
7 p.m. | Prudential Center | Newark, N.J.
TV: CSN Philly, MSG+ | Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Get the New Jersey perspective at In Lou We Trust

The whole six-game roadie thing is a little deceiving. The Flyers played two games in Canada, had a night off in Winnipeg after their win Tuesday and then returned to Philadelphia on Wednesday for two nights in their own beds and practice on their own rink Thursday. This morning they were in Newark, where they skated prior to tonight's game.

Sean Couturier was back on the ice, according to NHL.com, and he'll be in tonight's lineup as he returns from the flu. Harry Zolnierczyk has not returned to the Phantoms (as far as we know) and could remain in the lineup, although that would require somebody else to come out. We'll see. The skate this AM was optional so we don't know how things will look exactly. Will have to wait for warmups.

Regardless, the Flyers were able to successfully roll an entire lineup on Tuesday night in Winnipeg and they got a quality win out of it. We know the keys to success: Special teams success, good goaltending, for the love of God tighten up on defense a little bit.

The Devils will add Alexei Ponikarovsky to their lineup tonight, just acquired from the Jets. He played the Flyers on Tuesday night in Winnipeg, so that'll be a little weird. Ponikarovsky will join the Devils top line with Ilya Kovalchuk and Travis Zajac, it seems. Cobbling together updates from various sources, here's what I'd expect the Devils lineup to look like this evening:

Ponikarovsky - Zajac - Kovalchuk
Elias - Henrique - Clarkson
Bernier - Gionta - Carter
Barch - Josefson - Butler

Salvador - Fayne
Larsson - Greene
Zidlicky - Volchenkov

New Jersey's been pretty on point lately. They lost against Carolina on Tuesday, but they swept a home-and-home vs. Pittsburgh over the weekend as part of a five-game streak that also included wins over the Islanders, Rangers and Lightning. In the only game against the Flyers this season, the Devils were able to limit the Flyers' chances and the special teams were the difference in a 3-0 N.J. win.

That game was 24 days ago, and the Flyers are better in all categories now. They've been great on the PK recently, much better on the PP (now they're just mediocre!) and hopefully they can get more pucks on Martin Brodeur.

It'll be Ilya Bryzgalov against Brodeur this evening. 7 p.m. start.

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